A sometimes-rambling but ultimately sweet animal tale.

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A SURPRISING FRIENDSHIP

A goose and a bear develop a close friendship in this debut picture book.

As a Canadian goose named Zoey plays in the pond, she is approached by a large black bear called Henry. They become fast friends, spending their days swimming in the pond and playing together. But as wintertime approaches, they realize they must go their separate ways for the season; Zoey will fly south and Henry will hibernate. They make plans to meet again in the spring. When Henry wakes to a verdant landscape after his long nap, he wonders whether his friendship with Zoey was a dream. At the pond, he is thrilled to see Zoey waiting for him. Though the moral here is charming, the book is wordy for this genre. Some verbose descriptions could have been omitted without effecting the plot. Wald’s use of adjectives and adverbs in the dialogue feels clunky and redundant, especially when the characters’ emotions are already evident via the illustrations (“Zoey paused, and then asked in a somewhat fearful voice”; “Feeling greatly relieved, Zoey exclaimed”). But Hannon’s (No Bears Allowed, 2019, etc.) whimsical, soft watercolor images are appealing, capturing pretty nature scenes in different seasons and offering friendly animal portrayals. And the engaging work emphasizes its worthy message with a note on the back explaining that the story “celebrates diversity” and shows “how differences and obstacles can be overcome with…a willingness to discover what we have in common with others.”

A sometimes-rambling but ultimately sweet animal tale.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-0-9857152-8-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Deeper Well Publishing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2019

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An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...

RALPH TELLS A STORY

With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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CINDERELLA

This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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